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Russia may increase World Cup budget


Russia appoint CSKA boss Slutsky

Euro 2016

Russia coach Leonid Slutsky recalls Capello favourites for final qualifiers

Slutsky has overseen an upturn in fortunes since succeeding Capello.

Russia coach Leonid Slutsky has recalled some of predecessor Fabio Capello's favoured players for the country's final two Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Slutsky, whose first two games brought vital wins against Sweden and Liechtenstein, shook up the squad for those matches by bringing in several veteran players.

Now he has dropped three fringe players, replacing them with midfielders favoured by Capello.


Euro 2016 Forecaster: Several seeded teams in danger of not qualifying

The penultimate week of Euro 2016 group qualifying begins on Thursday, and 17 different countries could clinch a spot in France by Tuesday. The qualifying campaign has been rife with upsets, resulting in only two of the nine seeded teams currently being on top of their groups.

With the forgiving nature of qualifying, not all of the seeds are in danger of being eliminated. Each group's top two teams qualify automatically for Euro 2016. The best team of the nine third-place clubs also gets a direct berth, and the other eight third-place teams enter playoffs for the final four spots.

But as it stands, ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) forecasts three seeded teams to finish outside the top two when the group stage concludes in October. Based on 10,000 simulations of the remaining games, here's how SPI sees the groups playing out, with a focus on how the top seeds are performing. (For more information on SPI, see Nate Silver's explainers here, here and here.)


Vitaly Mutko takes over Russia FA ahead of 2018 World Cup

MOSCOW -- Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has taken over control of the country's football association ahead of the 2018 World Cup, with promises of government money for the sport.

The arrival of Mutko, who also oversees Russia's World Cup preparations, comes as Swiss prosecutors investigate alleged corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 tournament. Mutko has been a member of FIFA's executive committee since 2009 and played a leading role in Russia's winning bid.

He takes over from Nikolai...